New technology aiding one woman’s fight against breast cancer

2 weeks ago WBRZ 0

BATON ROUGE – At Kleinpeter photography, capturing moments in photographs is what they do best. For more than 30 years, the owners, Troy and Kelly Kleinpeter, have captured it all and run this business together.

“She is a major part of the company. She’s been with us,” Troy said. “We’ve been married for 32 years now and she takes care of all the business part of it.”

Although it’s a business partnership, it does not take long to figure out who is the real boss.

“I can’t take pictures, but he can’t pay bills. He can’t do payroll. I planned my surgery around payroll,” Kelly said. “Like I said, we both have our responsibilities,” Troy quipped back.

Kelly had surgery just a few weeks ago after she went to the doctor for her yearly mammogram, seemingly healthy.

“I had calcifications which were told to me were like grains of salt. Just little dots on the mammogram,” she explained.

After more tests, she returned to the doctor’s office, and that’s when she got the overwhelming diagnosis.

“My daughter was with me, and I was told that it was cancer,” she said through tears. “I just wanted to see my kids and my grand kids grow up. That was the most important.” 

“These women are fighting for their lives, regardless of their stage. It’s very scary, very daunting and very emotionally impactful to them,” said Doctor Daniel Bourgeois of Cancer and GYN Pavillion at Woman’s Hospital.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in every 38 women diagnosed with the illness will die from breast cancer. And they also say that mortality rate has dropped more than 45 percent over the last three decades, mostly thanks to improvements in detection.

Kelly’s cancer was diagnosed at stage zero, and doctors say new technology, like 3-D mammogram, have made it possible to detect breast cancer so early.

“Over the years we’ve had many advancements in terms of how we do surgery as well as prior to that screening with mammograms, MRI’s, and then after surgery patients are going to potentially get some radiation therapy,” Bourgeois said.

According to Bourgeois, support is just as important as improved technology for detection and treatment in their fight.

“I noticed that it does have a lasting impact on not only their ability to tolerate their treatments, their emotions, and potentially their outcomes and the ability to make it through their treatment,” he said.

For Kelly, this whole experience has reminded them to make time to slow down.

“People need to realize you have got to do this. It may not be what you want to do. It may take a little bit of time, and you just don’t have the time to go sit there for 30-40 minutes. You need to do this,” Kelly finished.